Today’s homebuyers ‘need and expect’ their new property to have plenty of indoor and outdoor space, natural light and lots of storage according to a groundbreaking new report.

The Royal Institute of British Architects’ survey, The Way We Live Now, is the result of interviews conducted with a cross-section of UK property seekers at different stages of life.

The report, the first of its kind for 50 years, will now be used by The Future Homes Commission to help shape policy and trends in home design.

“This new research provides important evidence on which we can base some changes to the way our homes are designed, delivered, marketed and sold to us,” said Harry Rich, RIBA chief executive.

Interestingly, many of the home seekers surveyed would like new homes to incorporate ‘period’ features like large windows for natural light, large rooms and high ceilings. They also want flexible space to suit different life stages, ages or size of households, and believe getting the right blend of features in a home was vital for their well-being. However, emotional considerations such as the ‘feel’ of a home and the desperation to get on the housing ladder can overrule practical consider-ations such as where the vacuum cleaner can be stored. It seems builders are already rising to the challenge of creating the homes we would like to live in today.

“We recognise that creating light, flexible open living spaces with plenty of storage are among the top priorities for our customers when choosing a family home, so these are a key focus in the design of our properties,” said Paul Bennet, sales and marketing director at St James. “At our development at The Hamptons in Worcester Park, which sold out earlier this year, many of the houses included a large open-plan kitchen/living room on the ground floor, with patio doors opening onto a private garden.

“On the first floor, a number of the houses had an additional living room, some with doors opening onto a private balcony.

“Storage was also plentiful with some having a large cupboard in the hall which could be dedicated as a laundry cupboard.”

Long-term and short-term storage and space for storing and re-cycling rubbish were also flagged as important by those interviewed in the RIBA survey. For details of the report visit Homewise and read the Henry needs a home too! story on the News page.